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staycation in Argyll

In the wake of Brexit, this year millions of holidaymakers are forgoing their voyages to foreign climates in favour of staycations! It’s predicted that around eight million will take a staycation in the UK this year to save money. Luckily, choosing to stay in Great Britain this year doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a fantastic holiday!

A summer holiday in Scotland is the perfect staycation for the entire family. Argyll and the Isles are made up of a vast mainland and 23 inhabited islands.  It’s distinctive character combined with beautiful and varied landscapes means you won’t just feel like you’ve travelled to another country, you’ll feel like you’ve travelled to another world. 

Get Active!

If you want to explore the area by foot the routes you might choose are incredibly varied. Take a short, scenic walk offering exceptional views  (perfect for little legs) or a rougher ramble suited to the experienced walker looking for a challenge. The Cowal Way in Argyll, also known as  ‘Scotland in 57 miles,’ is Scotland’s most diverse long distance footpath. On your journey you’ll pass through some of the most stunning and varied landscape in the Highlands. As the route makes use of existing footpaths, forestry tracks, hillsides, quiet roads and traditional rights of way it’s ideal for a family adventure. Are your kids confident cyclists? Why not hire mountain bikes or bring your own bikes along to Scotland with you for an adventure on two wheels! You could even island hop on your bikes as it’s very cheap, even free sometimes to take your bike on the ferry. Carradale bikes and buggies offer both mountain bikes and all terrain buggies to hire so that those who are less able can still explore with the family. Barnluasgan is the perfect for a family visit, it offers easy walking trails as well as a cycling trail but the highlight has to be it’s resident beavers! Head to Sutherland’s Grove for woodland walks and cycle routes through and sensationally diverse landscape. You’ll love venturing deep into the forest and being rewarded with views of the Firth of Lorn and the Isle of Mull.

 

 Horse riding is a magical way to explore Argyll and the Isles. There are plenty of riding and trekking operators to choose from whether you are enthusiastic novice or an enthusiastic hacker. Just imagine experiencing the beaches, moorland, hills and glens of Argyll from horseback! Ballivicar Farm pony trekking is the perfect family experience. They cater for every age and experience level and pay close attention to every individual! The rides are usually one to two hours long and can be tailored to your needs.

 

walking with kids in Argyll 

Get in the Water!

Think water sports are reserved for the mediterranean? Think again! Boasting 3,723km of coastline Argyll and the Isles are ideal for any waterbabies. Sea kayaking offers you a unique way to explore the coastline of Scotland. You can choose from week long courses or short excursions with an expert guide with a number of reputable companies. The Argyll Sea Kayak Trail is 150km long and offers some of the best sea kayaking in Europe. If you’re looking a varied coastline with wildlife, beaches, caves and more, the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail is perfect for you! Sea Kayak Argyll can provide sea kayaking sessions for all abilities from a half day taster session to a multi day sea kayak journey! They’re a great option for all levels of expertise as they offer everything from introductory coaching to more advanced qualifications. You might not know that Argyll is also extremely popular among sport diving enthusiasts thanks to it’s breathtaking dive sites and some of the clearest waters in Scotland. You might even get to explore a shipwreck! The Hispania sank in 1954 in the Sound of Mull and today you’ll find it sat in around 30m of water almost completely covered in sea life. It’s now one of the most dived wrecks in Scotland! Choose from the area’s well-established dive operators and schools, suited to any level of expertise. Set sail in Argyll and you’ll be enjoying not only some of the best waters in Britain, but in the world! Get the whole family on board and tour the crystal clear waters, islands, inlets, beaches and coves of the area! If you’re wary of taking young children or inexperienced sailors a cruise could be another option. The experienced crew of Hebrides cruises can take you on a mesmerising journey through the landscape of Argyll and the Isles. 

Get Back to Nature!

Almost a third of Argyll is covered by forests and woodland. This includes some of Europe’s most significant ancient oakwoods, these ‘temperate rainforests’ are home to a wealth of wildlife, mosses, lichens and ferns. You might also discover ‘heritage trees’ such as the tallest tree in the UK! On the Isle of Bute you’ll find the community owned Rhubodach Forest, a beautiful area of ancient woodland, commercial forest, moorland and coast. The forest offers a variety of different paths for your family to enjoy including Balnakailly Loop Walk, Painted Rock Trail, WWII Bunker, Working Forest, and Woodland Activities. You might even spot a red deer while you’re exploring!  For animal lovers the region is also home to seven National Nature Reserves and a host of wildlife centres. You’ll be spoilt for choice! Visit Jura to see it’s famous red deer population. Or maybe Mull, also known as ‘Eagle Island’ so called because of it’s population of golden and white-tailed eagles. Stop by Islay in autumn to see thousands of geese flock to the island. Visit the Scottish Sealife Sanctuary in Oban for fantastic all-weather family fun! Your kids will love learning about the wonder and beauty of the oceans. They’ll be able to experience the ocean’s hidden marvels, look at sea creatures from all over the world, including those native to Scotland’s lochs! What makes this attraction even better is their dedication to conservation, they even have a seal rehabilitation centre where they rescue around 20 seals a year. Enjoy getting involved in interactive activities while finding out what you can do to help protect marine wildlife. Attend a talk or even watch the seals and otters at feeding time! You could even take a boat trip from one of the many harbours and get the chance to see basking sharks, seals, minke whales, porpoises and white-beaked and bottlenose dolphins out in the wild! You might even be able to see sperm, humpback and orca whales around the northern isles of the Inner Hebrides. Seafari adventures will take your family on a marine wildlife boat trip in Oban that has been meticulously planned to give you close encounters with Scotland’s nature. Argyll is one of the best places in the UK to go stargazing as there is very little light pollution. Visit the Isle of Coll for a truly out of this world experience. It has earnt ‘Dark Skies’ status as it is one of the best stargazing locations in the UK. 

Get Historical!

Ready to travel back in time? There are 60 medieval castles in Argyll and the Isles! Inveraray castle and gardens stands proudly on the shoes. It’s a true slice of scottish history as the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Argyll, Chiefs of the Clan Campbell, whose family have lived in the Inveraray since the early 15th century. This particular castle stays with those lucky enough to visit it as it combines a fairytale exterior with a magnificently decorated interior and delightful gardens. If you fancy something a little more gruesome why not visit Inveraray jail? The whole family will love stepping back in time to experience what life was like for the men, women and children who were tried and locked up in the jail.

 

loch Awe castle

Get some Whisky!

This one definitely isn’t for kids! But after all that adventure you’ll probably fancy a stiff drink! 14 whisky distilleries dot across what is often called the ‘whisky coast.’ Take a guided tour and sample the delights while learning about how the history, culture and landscape have helped to create such distinctive (and delicious) whiskies.

Whisky Drinking in Scotland

 Are you ready to fall in love with Argyll and the Isles? Choose from one of our 8 parks for your next staycation, all in incredible locations. We offer a range of accommodation including hotels, glamping pods, self-catering lodges even hot tub lodges! Take a look and book your summer holiday to Scotland today! 

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